Tax Break Deadline

      A Dec. 31 deadline for renewing enrollment for school tax relief, or STAR, is approaching fast. Those who do not register with the state by that date could lose their share of the 2014 break. Even those who have previously been in the STAR program have to sign up; state tax officials hope the process will check for income levels and help weed out cheats, such as those with double exemptions. Eligibility requirements are that a house be a primary residence and owner-occupied, and that household income be less than $500,000. Re-registration is with the state, not at local assessors offices. Property owners should have received a letter from the state with a code to use on the application. If they did not, or have questions, help can be found at

       For South Fork property owners, the savings are not nearly as much as those in UpIsland areas with far higher school taxes. Still, a dollar is a dollar, and the program is well worth the couple of minutes it takes to re-up.